Once Upon a Yarn

crafting & writing adventures

Baymax Keychain: Free Crochet Pattern

It’s been months since I last posted a free crochet pattern! I’m super excited to be sharing one with you today. 😀

Last night I felt the need to make something cute and impractical. So I grabbed the nearest ball of yarn and crocheted the first character that popped into mind…and it turned into Baymax! For those of you unfamiliar with him, Baymax is a character in the Disney movie “Big Hero 6,” which I really enjoyed. Here’s the scene where he is first introduced. Do yourself a favor and look up “low battery Baymax”! Or check out the #BaymaxFistBump.

I made him small so I could attach him to my backpack and carry around a Baymax keychain, which makes me happy. 🙂

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I wrote down what I did so you can make your own Baymax keychain for yourself or any Disney fans out there!

Materials

  • D (3.25 MM) crochet hook
  • white worsted weight yarn (mine was on the thinner side)
  • small scrap of black thread
  • Sharpie or black marker to draw on the eyes
  • key ring
  • yarn needle
  • stitch marker
  • tiny bit of stuffing

Notes

Baymax is worked amigurumi-style, in a spiral without turning. Use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each round to keep your place.

US crochet terms are used. Sc = single crochet, or double crochet in UK terms.

I use a magic ring to start pieces because it makes an invisible starting loop. If you prefer not to use one, just chain 2 and make the stitches into the second chain from the hook.

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Legs

1: 6 sc in a magic ring

2: *sc 1, inc* around

3-5: sc around

Fasten off.

Make another leg following this same pattern but don’t fasten off. Sc 9 around the first leg you made, then sc 9 around the one you just started. Continue with the body.

Body

1: *sc 2, inc* around

2-4: sc around

5: *sc 2, sc2tog* around

6-8: sc around

9: *sc 1, sc2tog* around

10-11: sc around

12: sc2tog 6x

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing. Weave tail through remaining stitches and pull to close up hole.

Head

1: Ch 3 (I like to use a magic ring as my first chain to avoid holes). sc in 2nd ch from hk, 3 sc in next chain, turn to work on other side of foundation chain, 2 sc in last st. (If this is all too overly complicated then just do ch 2, 6 sc in first chain – but this start will give you a slightly oval foundation which looks good for Baymax’s head.)

2: 2 sc in each st around

3: *sc 3, inc* around

4: sc around

5: *sc 3, sc2tog* around

Fasten off, sew to body about one row down.

Arms

1: 6 sc in a magic ring

2: *sc 2, inc* around

3-4: sc around

5: sc 2, sc2tog, sc 4

6-9: sc around

Fasten off, sew to body.

Finishing Up

To attach the key ring: Chain 10, sl st to first chain. Fasten off, leaving tail for sewing, and sew this part to the top of Baymax’s head. Make sure to stitch securely, going through the chain a couple times so the key ring doesn’t fall off. Then put the ring through the loop.

Embroider a small line about 3 stitches wide for his mouth, then add marker dots for the eyes. (Or embroider the eyes if you’re feeling ambitious – I was not.)

Congratulations, you have a finished Baymax! ^_^

***

As always, I’m happy to answer questions if you need help in making a Baymax. If you decide to use this pattern, I’d love to see what you make!

Have any of you seen Big Hero 6? What did you think? Any ideas on what I should crochet next? 🙂

*Baymax fist bump*

Unraveled, Part 17 {Plus a Survey!}

Welcome back to another chapter of Unraveled!

Before that, though, I’m at the point where I’m figuring out where exactly the story is going to go…and I want to ask you guys for guidance! I think the blogosphere is really awesome because it allows bloggers to interact with their audience, versus your typical book-writing experience where you don’t get a reaction until much later drafts. It’s a cool experience to not be writing in a vacuum (not that writing is usually like that), and it’s interesting how it changes the writing process – I have to make sure my rough draft isn’t too rough, hehe.

Anyway, it would be really helpful if you could take a minute to take this survey and let me know your thoughts on Unraveled. There are some questions about chapter length, post frequency, and thoughts on plot…just things that will be super helpful for me as I continue writing it for y’all. (This is my first time making a survey, so if you encounter technical difficulties please let me know!) 🙂

Take our survey!

Thank you so much, I promise it’s really quick. 😉

And now for the seventeenth installment:

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Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 17

Hemlock and the rest of the nymphs started preparing for the journey. It was evening, nearing dusk, just like it had been in the human world. In Tarrin, I reminded myself. It seemed odd that time could work the same in Feylinn, but it could be a few months different from Tarrin, and I just didn’t know it. Maybe the Well was a time warp and if I ever made it back home, I would be as old as Rip van Winkle. I chose to believe that wasn’t the case. But I didn’t know anything for certain.

“Bramble, Cedar – guard the back,” ordered Hemlock. “Pine, you’re up front with me. Ash, I want you attending to the prisoners.”

“As you wish,” she acquiesced.

They fell into formation. Were we really just going to walk to Aethelney? It seemed like there should be an easier, more magical way to get there. But Hemlock started walking, and Bramble and Cedar followed him, so the only thing to do was to follow suit. Two weeks of walking. I didn’t think I could do two weeks of walking. I had never done more than a 5K before. Now I wished I had run that half marathon with Hayden, like she was nagging me to do. Anything to keep up with five tree nymphs and a faerie.

We walked out of the clearing where the Well was located. As we went, we descended into the darker first, with trees entwining overhead and blocking out the sun. How long until it would be too dark for me to see? I was sure the nymphs wouldn’t have that problem, being Fey and all, but hopefully they would have some consideration for Catherine and myself. The group tightened to form a line. Ash was in front of Catherine and me, and I had the urge to touch her hair and see if it was an actual leaf.

As if she heard my thoughts, she looked at me over her shoulder. I dropped my gaze to the ground. Hayden would have hated the dirt, the way it caked itself onto my boots. What would she think of the situation?

A thought blasted its way into my head, like a lightbulb moment except bigger. My cell phone was in my bag. But what chance was there that it would work in Feylinn? Probably none. In all the fantasy books I read, how lame would it be to have the faeries contacting the human world? The Fey probably didn’t even have computers.

I wondered what Crochet Fanatic’s latest post had been. She posted free patterns every Friday, and I hadn’t checked in my hurry to get out the door. Well, I would look when I got back. If you get back, persisted that annoying little pessimistic voice, the one that found the dire side to every situation. Shut up, I told it. Was it normal to be thinking about blogs when you were kidnapped, miles away from home, in a completely unfamiliar, magical place? I didn’t know anyone I could ask….

I nudged Catherine. “How you doing?”

“Just peachy.” She was focused on the path ahead as it wound through the trees. “You?”

“Same.”

Her lips formed a tight line. “I guess we’re in for a long hike, yeah?”

“The nature hike to end all nature hikes,” I supplied. “Wait until my sister hears about this. She gives me such a hard time for never exercising.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. She ran her first half marathon when she was thirteen. I never heard the end of it.” I thought back to all my extended family sending her congratulatory cards. She completely deserved it, but it was a little disconcerting to be the non-athletic older child. “She wanted me to put a 13.1 bumper sticker on my car when I got one.”

Catherine giggled, the peal of laughter breaking through the shadows in the forest. I saw Hemlock stiffen at the noise. The conversation was good for me, though, and Catherine was making just as much of an effort to keep it going. We both needed a distraction. “Do you have a car?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “Well, kind of. My mom lets me use hers.”

“That’s great.”

“Yeah, except it’s a smart car, so there isn’t much room for cargo.”

“Darn it.”

My foot caught on a root, but Catherine grabbed my arm before I could fall. “Is this going to be a regular occurrence?” she asked.

“Afraid so,” I said, my cheeks burning. “It’s…there’s so many things to trip…”

“It’s okay.” I could hear her smile even as I looked to see where to take my next step. “I don’t care, I can be your crutch.”

I didn’t know what to say to that, letting her words hang in the silence. I wondered if the Fey were listening to us. But it didn’t matter. Why did I care if they overheard?

The sun was beginning to slip beneath the horizon. I could just make it out in a gap between the trees. The shadows were lengthening, casting darkness onto us. I could still clearly distinguish the path, though, and I didn’t take my eyes from it, not wanting to trip again.

“It’s really dark anyway,” Catherine added. “I can’t even see where I’m going.”

“What?” Now I looked at her, path being forgotten. She didn’t look like she was kidding. But it was just a little overcast and shadowed. I could see clearly.

“I mean, the sun set,” she said. “My watch says it’s nine thirty.”

“Your watch works?”

“Yeah. But what do you mean? Isn’t that why you’re stumbling?” Her eyebrows were creased in confusion.

“Um,” I said, “I can see just fine.”

It took a minute for that to sink in, for her to realize I wasn’t messing with her. “You’re serious,” she said. “What are you, a cat?”

Ash spoke up. “There are some benefits to being Fey.” She didn’t turn around, but tilted her head. She appeared to be thinking about something, maybe deciding how much to say.

“I see that,” I said. “Anything else I should know? Can I stick to walls, or throw flames?”

“I hope so,” said Catherine.

Ash didn’t laugh at Catherine’s remark. “No.”

“Shoot,” said Catherine. “I thought things were going to get interesting.” She elbowed me in the side. “You don’t even have wings. What kind of a faerie are you?”

That was exactly what I was wondering. “Yeah, how can I be Fey?”

“Aisling,” said Neirin. Her voice was pleasant enough, but that one word was enough to strike some fear into Ash. She tensed up, shoulders rising a couple inches.

“You have Fey ancestry,” said Ash. “That’s all the questions I’ll be answering for now.”

***

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Fringe Cosplay & Rose City Comic Con

Hello lovely followers! I’m super excited to share my latest adventure with all of you! Today I’ll be showing you my first foray into cosplay, which I did for my first ever Comic Con. Eeeeep! 😀

So lately I’ve gotten into the show “Fringe,” and I’m halfway through the third season. (It was removed from both Amazon Prime AND Netflix, so now I’m waiting on it at the library. I’ll continue my obsessive watching when the hold comes in, hehe.) Amazon had a good description: it’s about “three unlikely partners – FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, brilliant but damaged scientist Walter Bishop, and his jack-of-all-trades son Peter – on mind-bending investigations, battling threats lurking at the border between science and science fiction.” It’s absolutely fantastic, I can’t rave about it enough.

My friend invited me along to Comic Con, and I was planning on doing a female version of Han Solo for my costume. But three days before the event, I decided, “Why not do something completely crazy and change it last minute?” 😛

So I did some obsessive Google-Image-searching, made a whole reference folder, and three days later had this:

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How about a more in-character picture?:

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I never outgrew dressing up, so this was just about the most fun thing ever! I’m so lucky to have a friend who’s into nerdy stuff like this too. 🙂

My cosplay was vastly unimpressive next to everyone else at Comic Con. So many people had these amazing handmade costumes that obviously took them a really long time. It was incredible! It was the most amazing atmosphere – if you haven’t gone to a convention like this, imagine a huge room filled with tables packed with all sorts of nerdy things, from Harry Potter wands to Grumpy Cat comic books to Iron Man memorabilia. You can see Rey and Kylo Ren having a peaceful discussion and turn around to find Spider-Man having a lightsaber duel with Rapunzel. And everyone is so NICE – you can stroll up to your favorite character and ask to take a picture with them!

I had so much fun taking pictures with different cosplayers – there were so many I wanted to post, but I narrowed it down to these…

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It was a super fun day, although very tiring for an introvert. I pretty much got home and fell asleep! I came home with a lot of souvenirs, which I present to you here:

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From left to right: a couple bookmarks; Ashlynn Ella, whom I’ve been wanting to add to my collection for a while now; a flyer given to me by a Marty McFly cosplayer; wire elf ear cuffs, which I am mildly obsessed with; a hand-carved wand out of hawthorn wood, there was a booth with TONS of Harry Potter-inspired wands; my day pass; chocolate Stormtroopers and Darth Vader; the brochure; a tote bag I bought to carry this bounty; and a picture with my friend who invited me along and Peter Mayhew, who’s the guy inside the Chewbacca suit! My friend was kind enough to let me accompany him for the photo op, and now I have the picture displayed in a place of honor, it was a ton of fun. 🙂

(tip for future me: set a budget before you get there and are overwhelmed with GEEK STUFF GEEK STUFF GEEK STUFF)

I know none of this is really craft-related (apart from some of the costume!), but I really wanted to share the highlights, much like I did for the Winter launch party. Have any of you gone to Comic Con, or done any cool cosplay or geeky stuff? I’d love to hear about it!

I’ll leave you with my favorite picture from Comic Con…

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Live long and prosper!

Unraveled, Part 16 {I’m Back!}

Hello! It’s been long enough, hasn’t it? I’ve missed you all and wish I had time to post in the past month. It’s good to be chatting with y’all again!

I’m not really sure what’s going to happen to Once Upon a Yarn in the coming year. Things are going to get super busy for me in a couple weeks, because it’s my first year of college. (!!!) So I think Unraveled will be going on hiatus after I post the last few chapters I’ve already written. I miss blogging, though, so hopefully I can figure out a schedule that works with classes and homework. At least I can get some posts in before then – the truth is, I’ve just been too tired to blog!

But I hope you’ve been having a wonderful summer, and I now present the sixteenth episode…

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Unraveled, Part 16

“Certainly,” said Neirin. “I’m going to take you to Elide’s castle. She’s been looking for you for a while, Emma. It’s a trek, all right, but we should get there in fair time. You’ll get a nice tour of Feylinn, I’m sure you’ll have a grand time.”

She fixed a glance on Catherine. “You’re the first human to ever set foot in Feylinn. Enjoy it while it lasts.”

I tried not to read too much into that comment. After all, she hadn’t outright said she would hurt Catherine. But it was hard not to worry. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, I figured. Even if I had no idea how I could defend my friend against a bunch of Fey. Especially if they had magic….

Neirin took a few steps away from us, walking toward the forest. Dead branches cracked under her feet. I wondered where she was going; she was heading directly toward a copse of trees. Then something stirred in the tree – the branches moved as if in the wind, but the air was still.

Right before my eyes, a figure melted out of the tree. If I hadn’t been paying close attention I would have missed it altogether. He was joined by four others stepping out of the neighboring trees. They formed a circle around Neirin. I got a good look at them. Their skin was light brown, the color of the tree bark, and their hair ranged in different colors of green.

The first tree-figure seemed to be the leader, as he was taking charge in their conversation with Neirin. He gestured emphatically around him, pointing to his tree and to me and Catherine. Neirin gestured back. I would hate to go up against either of them. I caught a few muffled words from Neirin: “It’s your duty, Hemlock.”

He seemed to accept defeat, shoulders slumping a bit. Then he signaled to his fellow Fey and followed Neirin over to us.

As they got closer, I saw they were wearing clothes that looked like they were made out of leaves. Their skin was ridged like bark, and they were taller than normal humans. Of course, they weren’t human, but they were all at least seven feet tall. Catherine was a couple inches taller than me, but she looked miniscule next to the leader, who was glowering down at us. His hair was a deep green like the color of moss. He looked, well, like a tree in human form.

“Introductions,” said Neirin, clapping her hands together. “This is Emma Perez. As we discussed earlier.” The leader nodded, and a few members of his group exchanged knowing glances. Great. So they had been talking about me before I arrived. “This is her human friend. She’s staying with us until we reach Aethelney.”

Catherine spoke up from my side. “I’m Catherine.”

Neirin ignored her, as did the tree Fey. “Emma, this is Hemlock. You won’t be speaking to each other much, I’m sure, as he doesn’t associate with humans.” She sniffed. “Of course you’re not human, but you came straight from Tarrin, so that doesn’t help.”

I catalogued the name: Hemlock. Of course. A poisonous name for an intimidating tree warrior. “What’s Tarrin?”

“Human world.” She made a face. “You’re in Northpass now. Nobody comes here if they can help it; we don’t much like interacting with your kind.” It was directed at Catherine, and I had never heard such hatred in someone’s voice. “Tarrinese, is what you’re called. Too pretty a word for humans.”

“We haven’t had humans here for centuries.” The voice came from a Fey behind Neirin, a female with long, light green, willow tree hair. Her voice was lilting and made me think of sunlight breaking through tree branches, like the dappled light we had seen in the forest. In Tarrin. “I’m sure many will be interested.”

“Sure enough,” said Neirin. “I didn’t mean to bring her along. She’s like a parasite, just latched onto Emma’s leg and…”

“Shut up!” I exclaimed. All eyes turned to me, and I followed my outburst with the rather lame comment: “Don’t call her that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Catherine quietly.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were so attached.” Neirin didn’t take kindly to being told to shut up. “You’ve only known the human for a week, though, haven’t you Emma?”

I had. A week ago, my life had been normal. I had a moment of burning regret that I ever picked up the Briars and Roses Shawl – that I ever worked at Yarn Emporium in the first place. “Who cares how long I’ve known her? That doesn’t mean I want you to call her names.”

“Of course, Your Highness,” mocked the Fey who had spoken.

Neirin shot her a look. It was much more furious than her comment had merited. “Ash, I should think you knew to be silent.”

Ash bowed her head, still a foot taller than Neirin. Aren’t faeries supposed to be short? I thought, then had to giggle at myself for basing my Fey knowledge on childhood fairy tales. The tree Fey probably weren’t faeries, anyway. Tree nymphs would be the proper word.

“Let’s start moving,” said Hemlock. “It’s a solid two weeks’ walk to Aethelney; I’m sure Elide wants the prisoners as soon as possible.”

Neirin nodded assent. “And Lunarin?”

“It’s not far out of the way,” said Hemlock. “Add half a day, no more. Not too far from Aethelney.”

“Perfect.” Neirin smiled.

***

Thanks for reading, and as always, I’d love to hear your feedback! Thanks for your patience while I’ve been away, and have a lovely day. <3 🙂

 

Michigan Yarn Shopping, Part 1: My Triumphant Return to Hobby Lobby

Hello! Remember me? I’m back from vacation, and I took lots of pictures to blog about. I suppose this is as good a time as any to inform you that I’ll be gone for the entire month of August. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll schedule any posts…it depends on how motivated and busy I am before then. I’ll try to get a more regular blogging schedule in the fall, in any case. There have been a lot of happenings around here that make it difficult to keep writing posts!

Today’s post has a long title, and even more stuff to talk about! First, a little backstory: I used to live in the Midwest, where they have Hobby Lobby stores. I learned to crochet out there and got my yarn from Hobby Lobby. They have a special brand of yarn that is only sold in those stores, “I Love This Yarn.” Think Red Heart Super Saver in affordability, yardage, and colors, but a hundred times softer…and it gets even softer when you throw it in the washing machine. It’s by far my favorite kind of yarn. But they don’t sell it in the Pacific Northwest, because there are no Hobby Lobbies, and I prefer buying yarn in person to ordering it online.

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A few weeks ago I got to attend my cousin’s wedding in Michigan, where I spent the first of my formative years. I had a wonderful time seeing family, but this is a craft blog and not a life-of-Claire blog, so I’ll stop blathering with the backstory. My grandma took me out yarn shopping (thank you, Nana – I know you follow my blog!), and we explored a couple different stores, but today I’ll be focusing on the real shopping highlight of the trip…Hobby Lobby!

I almost cried at the shelves of I Love This Yarn, hehe. The problem was that I only had so much suitcase space, even though I knew I was going to buy a lot of yarn. I’m not the kind of person who can pack light for a week away. I thought, I’ll just get three skeins or so of yarn. That can fit easily in my suitcase. Well, let’s just say I overestimated my restraint.

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There were a lot more offshoots of I Love This Yarn than I had seen before. I Love This Chunky, as you see above, which is basically their version of chunky yarn. A problem I have with a lot of bulky-weight yarns is their partial wool content, but not the case with this! I wanted to rub my face on the yarn because it’s so soft, which doesn’t sound weird at all. (Don’t worry, Hobby Lobby-goers, I restrained myself.)

As a side note, I am a pretty good judge of whether or not something contains wool – I just touch it to my neck and wait ten seconds. I’m sensitive to wool, so I usually come out of my local yarn store (which has “Wools” in the name) with a mild rash on my neck. Whatever works, right? So if I had more suitcase room, I would have definitely gotten some of this yarn…imagine a Katniss cowl in one of those cream colors! <3

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I love the crochet hook section of yarn stores. There were some interesting ones here, like the following…

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Gargantuan crochet hook! I can’t remember what size this one was, but it’s bigger than my Q hook (16 MM or so), which I thought was the largest you could find in a yarn store. Any bigger is usually a custom order. But apparently “Yarnology” rose to the challenge!

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My grandma spotted this section of “Fan Pride,” which made me hyperventilate. It’s basically like Red Heart Team Spirit, which you may remember from my Gryffindor scarf, but this is super soft and RH is not. As it happens, I have a sister who is a Ravenclaw, and she was interested in having a Ravenclaw scarf. So I got a couple skeins of Ravenclaw colors, which are blue and silver.

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The stripes work up a little thinner than Red Heart Team Spirit, but it just makes skinnier stripes, no huge deal. The softness of the yarn really makes up for it!

While we’re on the Harry Potter tangent, I had my mind set to make a Hufflepuff afghan. I’m about halfway done with it as we speak…I’ll definitely post an update sometime, it’s a lot of fun! So I got two skeins of yellow and two skeins of black, because it really is the best yarn for making afghans, in my not-so-humble opinion.

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I found some of this lovely variegated yarn, too…I loved the heathered blue and all the vibrant colors! I think this is destined for a scarf, but I’m not 100% sure. (And look at the shiny label! Just makes me happy.)

So what did I end up bringing home?

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The yarn in the seat was some yarn my grandma chose to make a scarf, and then we picked up a bunch of those free patterns. Then I chose the Hufflepuff yarn, Ravenclaw yarn, variegated, and that lovely pink that I want to make a shawl out of or something. So much yarny potential! And my grandma was kind enough to humor me in shopping for all this. Thank you, Nana! 🙂

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So that concludes my triumphant return to Hobby Lobby! It was super fun acquiring some I Love This Yarn, and even more fun to start crocheting with it again. A trip down yarn memory lane, I suppose. Thanks for joining me in my fangirling, I haven’t used this many exclamation marks since I met my favorite author!

How’s your summer going? Have you done any yarn shopping of your own? 🙂

Unraveled, Part 15

Hello! Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! Welcome to another installment of the book I’m blogging here. 🙂

As always, keep in mind this is a very rough first draft…I have an outline, but this is unpolished writing, so don’t expect anything amazing. 😉 I hope you enjoy it though, and I always love feedback!

Also, I’ll be traveling and visiting family for the next week, so I won’t be posting in that time. Just a heads-up. Does anyone know if you can bring crochet hooks on an airplane? I’m worried they’ll get stuck in security or something…even though knitting needles would be much riskier!

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Unraveled, Part 15

The last option seemed just as unlikely, but a part of me had been waiting for this moment for my whole life. As a child, I had spent hours in my bedroom reading Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, wishing to be sucked away into a magical land. I wanted to go on an adventure, meet faeries, learn magic, and be a princess. (Maybe there were some people who went their entire life without wishing they were royal, but I was definitely not one of those people. Hayden had also suffered from a royal phase when we were both little – that was the Christmas we received matching tiaras.)

It would be best to assume this was real unless I woke up. If you got hurt in a dream, it wouldn’t hurt you in real life…but I didn’t want to assume I was dreaming in case Rory got violent and I actually had been awake.

Neirin was watching me think. I yanked myself back to reality (or was it reality?) and forced myself to focus.

“Where am I?” I said, keeping my voice calm.

“Good question. This is Feylinn.”

That didn’t clear up much, but I felt better now that the place had a name. “Okay,” I said. “Last I checked, we were in Eugene. How did we get here?”

“I should think you’d have figured that out already, Emma. You must not take after your bloodline as much as I thought.”

“I know we came through that well thing,” I said. “But…”

“That well thing! It’s the Well, girl. Show some respect!” Neirin looked like I had just called her mother some awful word. “That well thing. You humans.”

I pressed on. “So is it some sort of transport?”

“Yes. Yes it is.” Neirin sighed. “It connects the human world with the world of the fey.”

A pause. I tried to keep cool, to control my breathing. World of the fey?

Neirin glanced down her long nose at me. “You’re unconvinced I’m telling the truth.”

I was pretty convinced, but there was still a shred of doubt in my mind, that human part of me telling me this was impossible, there had to be some logical explanation. I told that part to shut up and looked at Neirin.

“I don’t have to prove myself to you, but we do need to wake up your companion,” she mused. I instantly stepped next to Catherine, putting myself between my friend and Neirin, who was walking closer. “Oh, don’t worry. If I was going to hurt her, I would have done it already, don’t you think? I’m just going to wake her up. Simple bit of magic. I don’t know what Elide will do with her, though.”

The name Elide rung a bell somewhere in my addled mind, but I didn’t have time to ponder it right now. I tentatively let Neirin step past me and place a hand on Catherine’s wrist.

She didn’t say any incantation; there were no flashes of light or sparks. But Catherine groaned and opened her eyes. I watched as her mouth opened in shock and she scooted herself backwards, looking at Neirin.

“It’s okay,” I told her, placing a hand on her other arm.

“What’s going on?” Her voice was hoarse and panicked.

“Um.”

“Who is that? Where are we?” She looked incredulously around, taking in her surroundings like I had upon waking.

“That’s Neirin. But she told us her name was Rory,” I explained, aware that Neirin was listening to my every word. “We’re in Feylinn, a fantasy world. And…” I hesitated. I could have pulled aside my hair and shown her my ear, but it felt too strange, kind of embarrassing. “And Neirin is fey.”

“What?” A variety of expressions flashed across her face: disbelief, hurt (did she think I was lying to her?), fear, and finally a wary acceptance. “That’s impossible.”

“I know.”

“Very few things are impossible,” said Neirin. “Catherine, you know Emma isn’t lying to you.”

She looked like she was going to cry. She bit her lip, blinked quickly a couple of times, and stood, using my arm for support. “Why did you bring us here?”

“I wasn’t lying about the shawl,” said Neirin. “I told you I would bring you to the place where I got it. That’s the reason I sent Emma down the Well.” She looked disdainfully at Catherine, who was still standing right next to me; neither of us felt much like moving. “I didn’t plan on bringing the human, but there isn’t much we can do about it now.”

“Don’t call her that,” I said.

“Human? Well, she is.” Neirin raised her eyebrows at me. “It looks like you’re coming to terms with your own species, Emma?”

Catherine looked at me, confused. My stomach felt like it was turning over. I took a breath and tucked my hair behind my ear, not looking at her expression.

“Oh,” said Catherine.

I waited.

“I didn’t…I didn’t think the day would go like this,” she said. I peeked at her out of the corner of my eye; the corners of her lips were turned up slightly.

We had already formed a bond based on the weird, abnormal situation with the wrap. In that moment, far away from home, in a completely impossible, possibly fantastical situation, I felt a surge of kinship with her. We were both freaked out and trying to process what was happening. Our lives were probably in danger. But at least we were together, at least there was one other human who understood (or didn’t understand) what was happening.

As if she was having the same thoughts, Catherine gave a quick, almost imperceptible raise of her eyebrows. I got her unspoken message: Let’s tough this out, go along with Neirin, and find a way out when we can.

I nodded. Then I said to Neirin: “May I ask what’s going to happen to us?”

***

Hope you’re all having a lovely day!

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 3 // Cress

Hello lovely followers! Here’s the final day of the “Quote of the Day” challenge, which I received from the wonderful Grace from Doll Dimensions. Click here for Day 1. 🙂

I especially like today’s quote, because it’s from one of my favorite books; this was the one I immediately knew I would use when I first learned about the quote challenge. Longtime followers will know how obsessed I am with the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. For those of you who don’t, suffice it to say that I went to a Lunar ball for the launch of the last book, dressing up as Cress and crocheting dolls from the four main characters. Then I went to another of her events a few months later, bringing her a crocheted Iko. So yeah, I’m a pretty big fan. 😉

Anyway, Cress is my favorite book of the series. I was hooked from Cinder, but this one drew me in because it’s a Rapunzel retelling, which is my favorite fairy tale, but also because Cress and I are so much alike. So I could really relate to her and her thought process, which is always refreshing in books.

Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them.

I love this quote so much I’m not going to say anything more about it, just because it’s perfect as is and I would just waffle on. 🙂 But this is your semi-annual endorsement to read the Lunar Chronicles – I’ve never recommended a series this much (apart from Harry Potter, maybe).

I nominated three bloggers in my original post, so now I’d like to nominate all my lovely followers! That is to say, if you’re interested in posting some quotes you like, I’d love to read about it. Or if you just want to post them in the comments, that’s cool too! I always like hearing from you guys. 🙂

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 2 // Le Petit Prince

Hi! Welcome to Day 2 of the “Quote of the Day” challenge! The gist is that I was nominated by the lovely Grace of Doll Dimensions to post a quote I like every day for three days. Yesterday we had some Dumbledore appreciation, and today we’re moving on to one of my favorite books.

Last year in French we read Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and I haven’t ever enjoyed an assigned book so much. A lot of my classmates preferred the other books we read, but this is now one of my favorite books of all time. (Made me think of you, Astri, I know how much you and the NVO like Le Petit Prince!) I couldn’t recommend it more…I love how it makes fun of grown-ups and the “adult” world. And the illustrations are the best things!

Anyway, my favorite quote also happens to be the most well-known, and since I read the book in French you get a quote en français. (I made a bunch of these while I was reading it, since it’s so quotable.)

On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

“One only sees clearly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

This is kind of a theme for the whole book, but it’s perfectly phrased here (always sounds better in the original language though!) I really need to reread The Little Prince, actually…maybe I’ll go do that.

Hope y’all are having a lovely day! <3

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 1 // Dumbledore Appreciation

Hello! I’m slowly getting my act together with returning to blogging – the first step is catching up on my posts! Back in April, the lovely Grace from Doll Dimensions nominated me for the “Quote of the Day” challenge. Of course I was super excited about it, but I didn’t get around to choosing my quotes until now. Thanks so much for nominating me, Grace, and I’m sorry it took so long!

The gist of the challenge is you post a quote you love for three days in a row, nominating three other bloggers as well. The hard part is just choosing three quotes! 🙂

Those of you who have followed me for any length of time won’t be surprised by my choice…

sunset

I love all of Dumbledore’s quotes, but this is one of my favorites because you can extrapolate it to mean so many things…like emotions are really just happening in our heads, and all that philosophical stuff. This happens near the end of Deathly Hallows, in a chapter I really like, “King’s Cross.”

Just for kicks, here’s my other favorite quote from Dumbledore:

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise either, given as I want to be a writer, hehe. Dumbledore has quote for every occasion. 🙂

And now for my nominations! I’m going to nominate three bloggers today, on Day One, and leave it open to y’all on the next two days. For those I’m nominating, don’t feel pressured to do the tag if that’s not your thing – but if you do, I’d love to see your quotes!

filliefanatic from Tiny Horse Talk
Aidyl from Noveltea
Cloud from Cloud’s World Of:

Thanks again for the nomination, Grace, this is going to be fun! 😀 I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes, lovely followers – I’m always happy to hear new inspirational sayings. 🙂

Unraveled, Part 14

Hello! It’s lovely to see y’all again! I’m sorry my hiatus was longer than I expected. I was caught up in the last few weeks of classes and the start of summer, which has been fantastic, and I hope it’s equally lovely for you! But the break was just what I needed, and I’m excited to be blogging again.

I’ll try to get Unraveled posts up every week. One of the reasons I didn’t come out of hiatus sooner was because I forgot my Google Docs login (smooth, I know), so it took a few days of trying every possible combination to find all 21,000 words of my novel. However, since it’s now safely recovered, we can get back to Emma and her friends. 🙂

Thanks so much for your patience and kind wishes for me. I’m incredibly grateful to have such wonderful followers and blog friends. <3

UNRAVELED-3

Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 14

I always heard about people’s life flashing before their eyes. I would have liked that; I would have preferred to relive my childhood memories right before my life ended. Picnics with Hayden, long evenings marathoning TV shows while I crocheted, the day I got a job at Yarn Emporium and didn’t stop smiling for the next week. It would have been comforting.

Instead, while I was falling as impressively as Alice in Wonderland, a different image swam into my mind. It was the Briars and Roses Shawl, the bane of my existence. For a fleeting second I saw it in its finished state, delicate roses twining their way up the side of the shawl, framed with lacy edging that let the sun shine through the holes. I saw it so clearly, it was like it was right in front of me.

Then I got the wind knocked out of me again, ground slamming into my back. I knocked my head against the ground and just lay there for a moment, trying to remember how to breathe.

It took a moment for me to realize what was wrong.

I had fallen down a well; why was I resting on the grass?

I opened my eyes and took in my surroundings, unable to believe what I was seeing. I didn’t see stone surrounding me and water at my feet as I had expected. Instead – impossibly, ridiculously – I was lying next to a well identical to the one I had fallen down. But the rest of the world had changed.

I sat up gingerly, head pounding.

The sky was gray like a storm was about to come, teeming with clouds dark as my mood. The trees were thicker and taller, pinning me in. The ring of daisies was still there, but the flowers were wilting. When I looked closer at the trees, some of them had brown leaves and pine needles like they were dying. It didn’t look like the same forest from earlier, but there was no possible way I could be somewhere else. Had Rory maybe knocked me out and dragged me here? But why would she go to all that effort?

The worst part was that Catherine was here, too, sprawled in a heap next to me. I was relieved to see her and I felt guilty for being relieved. I hoped she had escaped, but here she was. Where is ‘here,’ anyway?

I had a sudden, awful thought: was Catherine…alive? The way she was sprawled, I couldn’t see whether or not she was breathing. I put a hand on her still-warm wrist and felt for a pulse. Then I released a breath as I felt her heart beating faintly. Not dead yet.

Then I saw Rory standing next to the well – except she wasn’t the pink-haired elderly lady anymore. Her ears ended in two points, poking through her hair. They were perfectly tapered like every picture you see of fairies. Her hair was several shades of pink, and it looked like there were feathers growing out of her scalp, like extra strands of hair. Her skin was clear and wrinkle-free and she didn’t look a day over twenty years old.

She was looking around her, faintly smiling at her surroundings.

I wondered if I could scramble away before she noticed me, but I didn’t want to leave Catherine. Besides, I had no idea what had happened. I stood up. It called enough attention to myself that Rory’s head snapped around to face me. Her gaze was striking.

“Emma,” she said. I tried not to stare at her, but it was beyond my capabilities. She noticed. “You’re confused,” she noted. “I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going on.”

“Rory, what…”

“Don’t call me that,” she snapped, eyes flashing. “I hated that filthy human name. I told Elide I could go by my true name, my true self, but she insisted I had a disguise. Keep the humans from wondering.” She scoffed. “I’m Neirin, first child of the Nyfain bloodline. I will not be disgraced by you, even if you’re not human scum anymore.”

Had I fallen into a fantasy world? And what did she mean by ‘not human scum anymore’? “I’m sorry,” I said automatically, more out of a sense of self-preservation rather than any guilt. It wouldn’t do to anger my possibly-fantastical possible captor.

Neirin paced the grass, kicking aside Catherine’s feet as she went. I flinched on my friend’s behalf, but she made no move to hurt her so I forced myself to stay put. I forced myself to take a deep breath and not panic. Maybe it was impossible, and completely ridiculous, but it looked like I had fallen into some sort of fantasy world. Like when Alice fell down the rabbit hole and appeared in Wonderland. Maybe a normal person wouldn’t have jumped to that conclusion, but I read too many fantasy books to discount that option.

Still, when I went to push my hair out of my face and felt the pointed tip of my ear, I very nearly had a heart attack.

I bit my lip and poked the tip of my ear again. The cartilage narrowed to a delicate point, protruding from my dark blonde waves. Any doubts I had vanished. There was no reason my ears should suddenly be pointed. I didn’t know of any medical condition that suddenly caused someone’s ears to become pointed.

That left me with two clear possibilities.

I could be dreaming. I wanted to rule out this option because my dreams were never this realistic. In my dreams, whenever I thought about the possibility that I could be dreaming, I usually woke myself up. That was the key to lucid dreaming – realizing you were asleep. In books, people were always pinching themselves to see if they were awake. That had never worked for me, but the truth was it seemed very unlikely that I was dreaming right now.

Or…this really could be some sort of fantasy world.

***

As always, please keep in mind this is a first draft, and it definitely needs editing! Your feedback is always appreciated. 🙂

How’s your summer going?

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